Evidence-Based Human Resource Management

Introduction

Human resource management is a department task in most organisations globally to recruit company employees and play an important role in developing the company workforce. The department identifies the gap within the organisation, which requires human resources and advertises them, and then recruits after evaluating the potential candidates with top talents. Human resource managers are the company leaders tasked with managing human resources. Apart from recruiting employees, the human resource department helps the company identify the jobs that have become obsolete, thus helping in downsizing. Human resource management as a profession has transformed notably from an administrative kind of operation which it used to be in the 1980s, to a strategy-based profession, making it a strategic extension of the organisation

Human resource managers play a critical role in overseeing department functions and managing employees in most organisations. The scope of the role of human resource managers encompasses all the activities under human resources management as a profession (Aydoğan & Arslan, 2020). The activities that human resource managers are involved in include compensation and the benefits of the employee, training of the employees, employee development, employee relationship, and recruitment and selection processes. Human resource management requires that managers have solid communication skills and decision-making abilities. They must be equipped with key analytical skills and critical thought processes. Human resource managers play an important role in guiding employees’ compensation and benefits. They develop compensation plans for various specialists, monitor negotiations for the benefits that employees need, and align the company performance management system with the company compensation structure.

Human resource managers are involved in training and developing employees’ skills. The department is involved in training the new hire through orientation and provides leadership training and professional development (Aburumman et al., 2021). Human resource managers usually conduct timely evaluations to determine when training is needed, and the nature of training required to improve employees’ productivity. The other key roles of human resource managers are investigating workplace-related issues and providing solutions (Gooderham, Mayrhofer & Brewster, 2019). The human resource management department can preserve a healthy relationship between employees and their employer and colleagues through this. Human resource managers play an important role in ensuring the organisation meets its workforce demands by overseeing the employees’ recruitment process and selection processes.

The human resource managers are engaged in winning employees’ commitment as they are responsible for guaranteeing employees’ job security. The employees are aware that they need to show the company their commitment to fulfilling their duties as specified by the human resource department. The human resource managers are involved in ensuring that the company meets their human resource needs by putting in measures that their staff needs correspond to needs and, in the process, assuring the existing employees’ long-term engagement. The company always demonstrates its long-term commitment by regularly training employees and conducting performance evaluations.

Importance of Evidence-Based Human Resource Operations

Evidence-based management has developed from health sciences that rely on results from experiments and tested procedures for treating illnesses. Similar to the medical field with a vast body of knowledge on how to prevent and cure diseases, there is a vast ever-growing body of knowledge in other fields, for instance, in the social sciences, that outlines how people can be managed in an organization to ensure smooth flow of operations. Evidence-based management aims to relieve managers from making or basing their decision on instincts. Despite the available information and supportive data that various manager can utilise, many still believe in personal experiences and instincts and industry-wide experience to decide. However, some management professionals who are well schooled and scientifically minded utilise academic resources to determine some of the best practices which they can employ in their daily tasks where they select the best options that, through research, have demonstrated to succeed in various areas of application.

There are several benefits associated with evidence-based human resource management, which ultimately manages people within the organisation. The evidence-based human resource management is very beneficial to the organisation since it reduces errors in judgments made by human resource personnel. In human resources, management, managers, or leaders within this critical department are prone to irrational thinking and biasness. Evidence-based human resource management aims to assist in reducing biasness and irrational thinking, which can negatively influence the managers’ decision-making process.

Human resource management depends on evidence-based decision-making to ensure that the managers make the right decisions when dealing with the organisation’s human resources. Evidenced-based human resource management can be described as making a decision supported by evidence to ensure that the company gets the desired result from its human resources. It involves framing a problem that has hindered the organisation from attaining its goals. After identifying the problem, the company can further formulate the hypotheses around how the problem can be solved.

The formulation of the hypotheses can be based upon the use of high-quality peer-reviewed articles and scientifically researched papers with reliable information to extract valuable information which can help the managers make important decisions. This management method has helped the human resource managers shift their operations from relying on the success stories from other companies, which are relayed through word of mouth, the new trends in the sector, biases, and quick fixes. By basing their decision on what works and what does not, the managers progress toward critical thinking, which leads to a tactical decision that relies upon the available evidence. Human resource managers can review published literature, critically analyse the document, and select an approach supported by big data available on the cloud due to cloud computing and science (Huselid & Minbaeva, 2019). The evidence-based management requires the managers to conduct literature reviews of dozens of works from different authors to familiarise themselves with different outcomes of different strategies proposed by other people.

The manager can identify their situation and see the factors they can base their decision upon to avoid biases and irrational decisions. The evidence-based human resource management relies upon the scientific data and methods to effectively investigate any strategy and accurately assess its performance in the real world. These scientific evaluations mainly investigate the causes of a given issue and relate them to their impacts. A conclusion from the investigation can be drawn and communicated in a non-biased manner, which can be utilised in the decision-making process.

In human resource management, evidence-based management can lead to an increment in accountability within the organization. The daily role of any human resource manager is to make decisions about human resources within an organization daily (Suwanda & Suryana, 2020). If human resource managers make wrong decisions, the organization can immediately negatively affect performance. Thus, they become accountable, take full responsibility for their action, and expose the organization to legal tussle. Therefore, the managers need to ensure that their decisions adhere to all the organization’s standards. The manager is always accountable for any action they take as they act on behalf of the organisation. Human resource managers’ decisions can lead to motivation or demotivation of the company’s employees, resulting in the organisation’s poor or good performance.

Evidence-based decision-making process by human resource managers is vital in an organisation as it increases transparency and accountability. Human resource managers can rely on data to ensure that the company achieves solid risk management (Suwanda & Suryana, 2020). Using evidence and data-driven decision-making processes, the human resource managers can determine what happened to the company in the past and predict what might happen to the company in the future about the human resources. This indicates that human resource managers can decide and plan accordingly to contain the future possibility of failure within the department while implementing the organisation’s future initiatives.

Application of Evidence-Based Practices in Human Resource Management

Human resource department across organisation plays an important role in capturing employees’ commitment. Winning the employees’ trust and convincing them to channel all their energies towards achieving the company goal is a very difficult role, but the human resource managers must do it. The goal of any organisation is always long and general but is always targeted to increase revenue and growth (Sultana & Khandakar, 2022). Generally, employees are always focused on the shorter goals of meeting their personal needs, which are met by salaries and wages they earn from the company. Other employees usually focus on personal growth within the organisation, including promotion, fair treatment, and improved working conditions. Therefore, the human resource managers are faced with the serious challenge of realigning the employees’ goals with the company goal and ensuring an equilibrium is attained.

The human resource managers can rely upon research findings to develop strategies that they can utilise to ensure effective relationships between employees and the company. They can use these data to align short-term employee goals with company goals to build trust and avoid conflict. Building trust between the company and the employees is always challenging, with many mistakes committed. From research, the managers can learn from the mistakes committed by other companies in their bid to build trust with employees and emulate the best practices other companies use to realign employees with company goals.

The threats that the company may experience always emanate from the external environment. If well identified, it can aid in the informed decision-making process to combat them in the future. Human resource managers can work closely with strategic managers to evaluate whether the necessary resources are readily available to meet the company goals. Strategic management data can help human resource managers utilise human resources as a tool for competitive advantage to ensure the organisation’s effectiveness. The organisation can engage the strategic managers and human resource managers to conduct surveys to gather data that they can analyse to ensure all the strategy they implement are evidence-based and aligns with the company goals.

Evidence-based human resource management can be applied in planning the company workforce and the recruitment of employees. The human resource managers within any organisation occasionally assess each job position within the company where they manage the human resources. They do this to ensure that each company employee does jobs that align with their skills and meet the kind of training the employee acquired. The occasional assessment of the jobs ensures that people with the right training are tasked with the right responsibilities that meet their job description. Human resource managers always rely on research to collect information about each task under each job to identify discrepancies in individual workers’ roles and responsibilities and the cause of problems in a particular job (Scheuer & Loughlin, 2018). They can involve experts in various fields and learn about any unique aspect of a particular job.

Purolator is a good example of a company that depends on evidence-based human resource management in the planning of the employees. Purolator is one of the largest courier services companies in Canada. The company has over 1.5 billion dollars (Purolator, 2020). The company has an estimated 12,500 employees moving around 1.1 million packages per day (Purolator, 2020). Despite the success, the company operations have resulted in various injuries to workers due to accidents performing their duties. It is estimated that the company would process an average of 2,000 compensation claims due to injuries related to their work (Purolator, 2020). The company has resorted to job analysis through the human resource management department to understand the discrepancies and the needs for various jobs to avoid future injuries.

Human resource development is another vital aspect of human resource management where the evidence-based management method can be applied. Human resource development always targets to equip the company’s employees with new skills, knowledge, and abilities. The company can conduct performance appraisals (Podgorodnichenko, Edgar& McAndrew, 2020). The human resource manager can identify which employees need further training or additional skills to become competent in performing their tasks from the information gathered.

The company can use the appraisal to determine which employees deserve a promotion. In most companies’ human resource managers usually distribute questionnaires which are then filled by the employees and assessed by the department to identify employees who need further training. Once the further training is completed, the human resource can gather information through interviews with the trained employees to assess the effectiveness of the training once the employee has returned to work to enable the transfer of knowledge and calculation of the return on investment.

Another key area where evidence-based management can be very beneficial to the company is establishing the relationship between the company and its workers. Through research, the company can identify various methods that they can use to support productivity, motivate employees, improve the morale of employees, and improve the relationship between employees, thus avoiding conflicts at work. Through research, human resource managers apply several tools developed to assist in achieving collaboration among employees boosting productivity.

Evidence-based human resource management is a vital practice in organisations for managing risks. Risk management involves activities that aim to provide employees with a safe and secure working environment, vital in satisfying and retaining employees. The human resource managers are always responsible for ensuring employees’ physical and psychological well-being and ensuring that the company complies with all the regulations regarding the employee’s well-being.

In order to meet the regulations required to provide employees with a safer and more conducive working environment, the human resource managers and other managers within the organisation need to constantly research to identify the changes in policies and procedures and develop plans that the organisation can use to meet the legal requirements. The company relies on research to identify strategies employed by other organisations in meeting the legal needs of ensuring the safety of the employees. The line managers and human resource managers can conduct interviews and questionnaires to identify risky areas within the company’s operation and develop mitigation procedures for the risk.

Example of Evidence-Based Management

In a broader perspective, different departments within the organisation rely on decisions made by the chief executive officer. On the other hand, the departmental leaders implement these decisions, backing them with evidence to avoid biased decisions. This enables them to make the key decision based on facts for the best outcome for the organisation. Before making any decision regarding the use of finances within a department, company leaders, for instance, can check the organisation’s financial statements and work with the financial managers to interpret the statements.

These financial statements can enable the company leader to halt or proceed with a project. The chief executive officer can depend on an evidence-based form of management to make key decision decisions about the company’s projects. For instance, the CEO can rely upon estimating the financial impacts of a given project that the organisation is planning to initiate. The company leader can then calculate the return on investment based on the financial estimate of the project to determine the amount of profit the project can generate and then make a decision if the project is worth taking. The CEO can conduct a cost-benefit analysis, that allows them to decide on company financing of a project.

Evidence-based human resource management is evident in strategic management within the department. Human resource managers work with strategic managers in identifying the goals to provide quality goods and services. Human resource managers, for instance, use surveys and research conducted by the strategic managers to gather necessary information, which they use to make informed strategic decisions in an organisation. The process always involves analysing the company’s strengths, threats, internal weaknesses, and opportunities.

Conclusion

Human resource managers are vital employees of any organisation globally. Human resource managers interview new employees during recruitment processes within the organisation. They plan for employee development and developing the company workforce in general. The human resource management department is involved in employee motivation and promotion. Apart from recruiting employees, the human resource department helps the company identify the jobs that have become obsolete due to the application of technology within the area or any other reason, thus helping in downsizing. Initially, human resource management was considered a key part of company administration. It was not involved in non-administrative roles within the organization, but this has changed as the human resource managers in contemporary business operations formulate company strategies and are members of its strategic management team.

The evidence-based human resource management is beneficial to the organization in many ways. Human resource managers can query their judgment against the data present before making any unrealistic judgment. This helps reduce errors such as unfair dismissal, leading to legal fines against the organization. Evidence-based human resource management can help the company in building its reputation. It helps the company managers reduce irrational thinking and biases in their decision-making processes. Irrational thinking and biases can lead to an uncalled-for decision, resulting in damage to the company’s name, which can cause a drop in revenue due to customers’ refusal to purchase company products and services.

References

Aburumman, O., Salleh, A., Omar, K., & Abadi, M. (2020). The impact of human resource management practices and career satisfaction on employee’s turnover intention. Management Science Letters, 10(3), 641-652. Web.

Aydoğan, E., & Arslan, Ö. (2020). HRM practices and organisational commitment link: Maritime scope. International Journal of Organisational Analysis, 29(1), 260–276. Web.

Gooderham, P. N., Mayrhofer, W., & Brewster, C. (2018). A framework for comparative institutional research on HRM. The International Journal of Human Resource Management, 30(1), 5–30. Web.

Huselid, M., & Minbaeva, D. (2019). Big Data and human resource management. The SAGE Handbook of Human Resource Management, 494–507. Web.

Podgorodnichenko, N., Edgar, F., & McAndrew, I. (2020). The role of HRM in developing sustainable organisation: Contemporary Challenges and contradictions. Human Resource Management Review, 30(3), 100685. Web.

Purolator releases 2020 sustainability report. Purolator. (2021). Web.

Scheuer, C.-L., & Loughlin, C. (2018). The moderating effects of status and trust on the performance of age-diverse work groups. Evidence-Based HRM: a Global Forum for Empirical Scholarship, 7(1), 56–74. Web.

Sultana, S., & Khandakar, M. S. (2022). Do human resource management practices boost up employees’ impersonal trust? evidence from the banking sector of Bangladesh. Evidence-Based HRM: Global Forum for Empirical Scholarship. Web.

Suwanda, D., & Suryana, D. (2020). Human resource development in local governments: Increased transparency and public accountability. Journal of Asian Finance, Economics and Business, 8(1). Web.

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BusinessEssay. 2023. "Evidence-Based Human Resource Management." August 9, 2023. https://business-essay.com/evidence-based-human-resource-management/.

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